Flushing Town Hall will celebrate the Festival of Lights with its second-annual Diwali Festival, featuring internationally renowned dancers and musicians from historic India and the Indian diaspora, with workshops, traditional foods, and family-friendly activities. Master musicians and dancers from India, Bangladesh, Guyana, and Suriname join forces to celebrate Diwali with regional music and dance from each country.
The three-hour celebration features master artists: master Indian dancer Abha B. Roy with Sarika Persaud, Zeel Shah, Melisa Bhagwandin from Guyana, master Bangladeshi dancer: Anup K. Das with Antara Saha and Margia Smriti, dholak drummer: Babloe Shankar from Suriname. Join us for henna painting, rangoli (decorative design) workshops, a dance workshop, and installations of traditional South Asian dress. Delicious Indian foods and handmade Indian jewelry for sale.
Diwali, or Deepavali, comes from the Sanskrit word meaning “row of lights.” It is a day of solidarity, where the soft light of diyas – or oil-wick candles – illuminate streets and homes, banishing the darkness of ignorance and suffering. Diwali began as a part of an ancient harvest festival, which celebrated the fertility of the earth and prosperity of the new harvest. Though Diwali has taken on a significant meaning in Hinduism, in India, it is still celebrated by all groups regardless of religious affiliation as a time of renewal and growth.